E28 - Richard Greville at Opticore IT03 July, 2023
During our 28th episode of The Route to Networking podcast, George Barnes invited Richard Greville, Director at Opticore to the show. They discuss what led him into the Networking space and more about his role at Opticore.
Richard feels that he got lucky as a kid. He was always into IT and computers, spending much of his time in a library, as that was where you would find the computers. His love for IT was always there, so when it came to looking for a career, he fell into a job opening through a job advertisement in a paper and got a position working as a General IT Technician.
There are different paths Networking specialists go down when moving into the industry. Some choose university, but for Richard, he chose not to go to university. He was advised by people that experience would be worth his weight in gold, so he rolled the dice on that and ended up taking a chance, which worked out incredibly well for him.
Fast forward to today where he is in the Senior position of Director at Opticore, he explains a little more about Opticore’s values and what they do. They are an IT consultancy that focuses on three different areas, Network Engineering, Platform Engineering and Project Management. They are a technical lead organisation, which sets them apart from competitors, as they are not sales leads. They are all about delivering the right solution and pride themselves on being highly collaborative and a high cultural organisation. They are big believers in working together to achieve a single goal, for both the engineers and their people.
One of the biggest challenges they are facing as a company now is the remote workforce. The downside is they want people front and centre, to be able to see them, be with them and want to be able to build a culture. Retaining a company culture while protecting their people and still driving the business forward in the remote style of work is Richards's main challenge currently.
When it comes to certifications, Richard is a huge advocate for them. Even with the world of technology evolving rapidly, the CCIE remains a valid certification. Not so much the certification itself but more so the journey one takes to get to the endpoint, especially if you have gone through the lab once, failed it and attempted it again. For him, when he has seen someone go through that, he knows the level of passion that comes with it.
Richard recalled an instance when disaster struck which happened during a time when he carried out a huge change for a big enterprise. He was working on a 10-gig link between two sites. He finished the change and got it working. Towards the end of the change, one of the core routers had a problem because someone hadn’t put passive-interface default on it, so he changed it to how it should’ve been done and ended up taking down one of the core networks. After panicking, he shot out of the building and sprinted across the campus, there were security guards on to him because he should not have been there but thankfully, he eventually got it back up and running again.
A piece of advice he would give to his 16-year-old self is to slow down and communicate better. Read the book three times, you will not understand it the first 2 times, but you’ll understand it the 3rd time.
With there being such huge changes in the world of technology, for Opticore, there is going to be a lot more integration with various platforms. Network Engineers will not be configuring the kit as they did 5 years ago, they will be more reliant on the policies of certain enterprises.
If you are interested in what exciting things are happening with Opticore in the next few years, tune in now to hear all about it!